Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

For Goodness Cakes: Serving Sweet Acts of Kindness to Orange County Foster Agencies

By Amanda Gonzalez 

 

For many, a birthday means an entire day of celebration for yourself surrounded by family and friends, complete with wishes, cakes and presents – if you’re one of the lucky ones.  Everyone has a birthday, but for the children in foster care services, this annual celebration is usually forgotten about.

According to Child Welfare Services data from 2016, there are more than 62,000 children in foster care in California alone. One non-profit, For Goodness Cakes, based in Santa Monica, has made it its mission to “spread love, joy and frosting” throughout communities. This group, founded in 2016, connects volunteers and foster-care agencies to bring personalized and homemade birthday cakes to children whose special days frequently go un-celebrated

After hearing from a friend that it isn’t unusual for many children in foster care to go without celebrating birthdays, founder and company director Jaime Lehman found an easy solution to make a big impact in the lives of at-risk and disadvantage youth.

“Growing up, in my household, a birthday was basically a national holiday,” said Lehman. “When I had found out from a friend [who] had never celebrated their birthday growing up, I knew there had to be others.” 

That’s when Lehman made it her mission to put an end to uncelebrated birthdays in the Southland for children in “the system.” For Goodness Cakes makes it easy for anyone above the age of 17, with access to a kitchen, to serve others in a fun and creative way. The children who benefit from this organization include kids within the foster system, kids who live at shelters, and who are in a day programs meant for at-risk or underprivileged youth. 

After completing a one-time orientation involving a food-safety-training course, volunteers are networked to birthdays within their local area and are free to deliver as many cakes as they’d like. 

“These foster children are in need of attention, and to have a completely custom cake delivered to them is an invaluable experience to them,” said Kim Roberts, For Goodness Cakes’ Orange County chapter lead and former volunteer.

“We’ve had a number of our agencies report back to us that many of these children have never received a cake before. There was a case where one child was unaware of their own birthday, and he had gone 8 years without celebrating,” 

This non-profit started serving Orange County two months ago and has delivered a total of 29 cakes to Orange County, and has a total of 64 volunteers serving the area. A few of the Orange County agencies the charity serves are ABC Foster Family Agency in Santa Ana, Beta Foster Care in La Habra, and Hannah’s Children’s Home in Orange. 

The non-profit is also working on opening chapters in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and hopefully all major cities across the country.

As famed suspense and fiction writer Dean Koontz has said, “Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.”